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HomeIndustry SectorFilmOver the Weekend 5/3/21: Olympia Dukakis Dies, SAG-AFTRA Launches Sexual Harassment Site,...

Over the Weekend 5/3/21: Olympia Dukakis Dies, SAG-AFTRA Launches Sexual Harassment Site, and More News


Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis (Photo: MGM)

Over the weekend came the sad news that Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis had died at the age of 89 in her home in New York City after having been ill for some time. It was confirmed by her brother Apollo on his Facebook page.

Dukakis was a beloved actor who appeared in films such as Steel Magnolias, Away From Her, the three Look Who’s Talking films and Mr. Holland’s Opus. She won her first and only Oscar, playing Cher‘s mother in 1987’s Moonstruck, a movie that was nominated for six Oscars total.

Another death over the weekend that may be a little more off the beaten track, but comic book artist John Paul Leon died from cancer complications on Saturday at the young age of 49. If you’re familiar with the character Static from the cartoon Static Shock, which was in active development by Michael B. Jordan and Reginald Hudlin as a live action feature film, Leon was the original artist on the book and drew thousands of other great comics in his three-decade career.

SAG-AFTRA_LogoSAG-AFTRA has launched SAG AFTRA Safe Place where members of the actors’ union and third-party witnesses can report incidents of sexual harassment in the work place, so that repeat offenders can be tracked. It was announced during a press conference late last week along with new standards for the training, registration and continuing education of intimacy coordinators who oversee sex scenes in films and TV shows. The union hopes to “change industry culture and eliminate harassment.”

This builds upon the Standards and Protocols for the Use of Intimacy Coordinators that were introduced in January 2020 with the intention to safely expand the number of experienced and qualified candidates to provide to employers. SAG-AFTRA will use its accreditation system to review and vet candidates for the role with a commitment to provide equity and inclusion to applicants in doing so.

As luck would have it, Below the Line actually has an interview with Intimacy Coordinator Marcus Watson, which we’ll be running soon.

Some casting news from last week…

J.K. Simmons
J.K. Simmons

Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons is replacing Ed O’Neill in the Amazon sci-drama series, Lightyears, joining fellow Academy Award winner, Sissy Spacek. O’Neill was added to the cast back in March but had to leave the series due to “family reasons.” Lightyears will be one of four new series filming at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the second largest film studio in North America outside Los Angeles, according to It recently added another 105,000 square foot industry building near its main campus to bring more stages online for the busy content creation industry.

Lightyears is written and co-executive produced by Holden Miller, with Simmons and Spacek playing Franklin and Irene York, “a couple who years ago discovered a chamber buried in their backyard that inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly upended — and the mysterious chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.”

Florence Pugh, who will be appearing in the delayed Black Widow this July and in Olivia Wilde‘s second film as a director, Don’t Worry Darling, later in the year, has been attached to star in the adaptation of Emma Donoghue‘s The Wonder, directed by Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman).  Production is set to start this August in Ireland for the story set in the Irish Midlands in 1859 with Pugh playing British nurse, Lib Wright, who is summoned to a tiny Irish village to observe a medical miracle, a young girl who has survived months without eating. Alice Birch adapted the novel with Lelio and Donoghue with House Production‘s Tessa Ross and Element Pictures‘s Ed Guiney producing.

Netflix’s popular series, Russian Doll, is returning for a second season and the cast will be joined by Ephraim Sykes, who played George Eacker in the Broadway musical, Hamilton. The popular series, starring Natasha Lyonne, is currently filming its second season with hopes of premiering it over the summer.

You can read more about projects like these by subscribing to our Production Listings.

Kenan (NBC)

Before we get to trailers, some good news from the weekend was that NBC has renewed both Young Rock and Kenan for second seasons. It will be interesting to see if Kenan Thompson does a second season of double duties with Saturday Night Live, where he is the longest-running member of the cast as he wraps up his 19th season.

Instead of just one trailer to share with you today, how about a trailer for every single Marvel Studios movie coming out over the next two years?

The studio released a trailer for its Phase 4 of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, beginning with a look back narrated by the late, great Stan Lee. After that, it goes right into footage for the studio’s July 9 release, Black Widow; Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; and the first look at Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao‘s The Eternals, which is scheduled for November 5, 2021. (Saying that it will be worth the year-long wait.)

The teaser then goes through seven more title treatments, revealing the titles for the sequels, The Marvels (aka Captain Marvel 2, presumably bringing in the new Ms. Marvel from the Disney+ series), and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 taking the studio through May 5, 2021.

There’s also a mysterious “4” logo, which could just mean “Phase 4” or maybe it could mean something else? But more importantly, it ends with “See You at the Movies,” because like most people, it’s expected that Marvel’s next ten movies might revive the box office that’s practically been destroyed by the COVID pandemic.

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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